“Heal yourself, find yourself, know yourself, correct yourself, see yourself, love yourself, be yourself, RESPECT yourself.”

You’ve heard it, “you have to respect yourself before others will respect you.” This is so difficult for many of us. One reason lies in the fact of we just don’t know how. Another reason is we find ourselves in a situation that by the time we realize someone has disrespected us, it’s too late.

We struggle with these insecurities because we compare our lives to those around us. Those that put their lives on social media and are perfect at face value. Just because it’s on Facebook, it must be true, Right? That makes me laugh out loud. Sadly, people do believe this. Let me be the first to say, you have no idea what goes on behind that computer screen.

Respect means not taking things for granted. We tend to do this with those that we are closest to. Your mind went straight to your spouse and kids – you skipped right over yourself. You live in your skin day to day and forget you the most.

Honestly, I didn’t learn to respect myself until I began to learn myself through proper nutrition and exercise. This, for me, was a turning point in my life. When I became important enough to take care of my health, I began to value who I was, how I was treated, and my outlook on life much better. I cared enough to love me. When you love and respect who you are, the rest of the world kind of falls in to place.

Respect is also earned, not given freely. This means within ourselves as well. I think it is so ironic when people that treat you like crap get offended when you finally begin treating them the same way. You become the bad person at this point. You can’t win, don’t try. Respect their opinion of you, set boundaries, and walk away.

Relationships should be about two things: first, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.

Let me reflect on my favorite pastime, running. When I began calling myself a runner in 2001, I had no clue about this sport. I was a member at the Courtyard Health and Racquet Club. They decided to form a run group that would meet twice a week and everyone went various distances. I remember running that first mile without stopping and then 3 miles and then 4. What a great feeling and accomplishment. And then, I was talked into signing up for the Mardi Gras Marathon in NOLA. During training, I messed up my IT band. It was a bitch training with that injury. My philosophy was if I’ve come this far, I am not going to quit. I went to that race, and finished 26.2 miles limping and hurting. I beat Oprah’s marathon time that day. That was my goal. My IT problem didn’t go away with that feeling of excitement crossing the finish line. I was in physical therapy for 3 months with no running. This was the price I paid for not only not respecting my body but also not respecting the distance of that course. I learned a valuable lesson that day, the hard way! I run injury free today. I respect every step that I take.

It’s simple, no matter what it is in life, it can be ripped from you in a matter of seconds.

Find peace, love and respect in everything you have, everything you do, and everyone you care for. Life is too short.

Stick with the Golden Rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” MAYA ANGELOU


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